Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour named NHL’s top coach

Carolina Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour was named the winner of the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s top coach on Thuraday. (Karl B. DeBlaker / AP Photo)

Rod Brind’Amour wasn’t looking to cash in when he signed his three-year contract extension to remain coach of the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday.

But if he had been, waiting another few hours would have boosted his value even more.

Brind’Amour was named the winner of the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s top coach Thursday evening, the first coach in franchise history to receive the honor. The award is voted on by the NHL Broadcasters’ Association. Brind’Amour received 61 first-place votes and 433 total points from the 129 ballots. Minnesota’s Dean Evanson (235 points) and Florida’s Joel Quenneville (225) were the other two finalists.

“There’s not a coach in this league worth his weight that would say it’s about him,” Brind’Amour said after winning the award. “Winning this award is an organizational award, and I’m really proud to be accepting this on behalf of this organization.”

The Hurricanes finished 36-12-8 in the pandemic-shortened 2020-21 season, winning the Central Division and totaling 80 points for the third-best record in the NHL last season. After defeating the Nashville Predators in the first round of the playoffs, Carolina was eliminated by the Tampa Bay Lightning in Round 2.

Brind’Amour twice won the Frank J. Selke Award as the NHL’s top defensive forward, earning the honor in consecutive seasons in 2006 and 2007. He played 20 NHL seasons, including a decade with the Hurricanes along with St. Louis and Philadelphia.

In three seasons since becoming the Hurricanes’ head coach, Brind’Amour is 120-66-20 in the regular season — the best winning percentage of any coach in team history — and already ranks fifth in franchise history in wins.

Brind’Amour could climb the chart quickly. Peter Laviolette, the coach who led Brind’Amour and the Hurricanes to the 2006 Stanley Cup, ranks second with 167 wins. Two-time Hurricanes coach and current Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice is the franchise leader in wins with 384.